Neil Young Makes 1st Live Public Performance in Years

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Neil Young performing “Comes a Time” on Feb. 25, 2023. His wife, Daryl Hannah, is in the background

Neil Young performed in public on Saturday night (Feb. 25, 2023) for the first time since before the pandemic. The occasion was a surprise appearance at an anti-logging rally in Victoria, Canada, where the singer, songwriter and activist was introduced by his wife, actress Daryl Hannah. Young, on guitar and harmonica, performed two songs in the chilly outdoor weather, “Comes a Time” and “Heart of Gold,” addressing the surprised crowd of around 2000 in between songs.

Young had played several streamed performances in 2020 but this was his first live appearance before an audience since 2019. In the past month, he has been announced as a featured performer at two upcoming events: On Jan. 24, he was listed as one of dozens of artists who will perform at a two day celebration in honor of Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday. The April 29-30 concerts take place at the Hollywood Bowl. Then, on Feb. 13, Stephen Stills announced the sixth edition of his “Light Up the Blues” concert to take place on April 22, also in Los Angeles, with Young as one of the participants. The three-time bandmates had performed together at many of the previous benefit shows, organized by Stills and his wife, Kristen.

After performing “Comes a Time” at the rally outside the British Columbia Legislature Building, Young said, “Thank you Canada. You know I’m only here for those trees up there and it’s a beautiful, it’s a precious, sacred thing, these old trees because they show us the power of nature when we are being threatened. They show us the past and they show us our future.

“And that’s something I hope our Canadian government and business section will recognize that this has to do with Canada. And it has to do with the ages, if we are lucky enough to have ages. These trees have lasted so long they deserve Canada’s respect.”

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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